Benefactors

Michael Frayn

Benefactors

When David dreams of improving the lives of those living in an inner city slum, his idealistic view of the world leads him to reach for the skies. But life isn’t easy when your neighbour is the town’s most cynical journalist, your wife has principles and your secretary falls in love with you. 3.4 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
Benefactors

Omniscore:

Location Sheffield
Venue Crucible Studio
Director Charlotte Gwinner
Cast Rebecca Lacey, Simon Wilson, Andrew Woodall Abigail Cruttenden
From March 2012
Until March 2012
Box Office 0114 249 6000
 

When David dreams of improving the lives of those living in an inner city slum, his idealistic view of the world leads him to reach for the skies. But life isn’t easy when your neighbour is the town’s most cynical journalist, your wife has principles and your secretary falls in love with you.

Part of the Michael Frayn Season

Reviews

The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

Matters of public and private territoriality bounce off each other, creating complex interference patterns and harmonics. That, however, is an inappropriate metaphor for Charlotte Gwinner’s production, which uses a minimum of sound and lighting effects, trusting instead in script and performances to do the work. She is right to do so.

07/03/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

We watch, with amused dismay, as the principled David is forced by town planners to turn a south London development project, modelled on collegiate quadrangles, into a high-rise monstrosity. It's a subject of particular relevance in Sheffield where the Parkhill estate became a blot on the landscape; but Frayn also reminds us of the way just about every British city has suffered from brutalist, skyscraping follies.

07/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Jane Edwardes

Charlotte Gwinner’s production delicately probes Frayn’s paradoxes as David, an idealistic architect, struggles to build high-rise towers that he believes will improve the lives of the inhabitants.

11/03/2012

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The Observer

Clare Brennan

It sparks to vivid life the four characters (stunning performances) clashing over twin crumbling constructs: marriage and urban renewal schemes. Age, though, has blunted any political edge it may have had, and the clever plotting of the second act is less engaging than amusing.

11/03/2012

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The Stage

Mark Shenton

Although there’s a certain brainy, chilly earnestness about the clashes of culture and idealism between them, Charlotte Gwinner’s production is propelled by an atmosphere of gripping, gnawing anxiety in the performances, particularly in Simon Wilson’s do-gooder architect ... but Rebecca Lacey as the hopeless neighbour’s wife distractingly seems to be channelling Prunella Scales as Sybil Fawlty.

07/03/2012

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The Times

Libby Purves

Set in 1968, the dying days of the mania for slum clearance and tower blocks ... A comedy of manners rich in such metaphors, it is nimbly told in flashback and narrative.

08/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

An intermittently entertaining but curiously cold and bloodless piece.

08/03/2012

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